Caribbean Salmon Salad with Papaya Slaw

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Buffets. Love ’em or hate ’em, you can usually find an assortment of fruit that will suit any palate. Such was the case when we were at a resort in Punta Cana a couple weeks ago. The long tables were brimming with all kinds of tropical goodness. Fresh mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and my new obsession; papaya.

If you haven’t tried papaya yet, it’s like a mango and a cantaloupe had a baby who was raised by a honey bee. Not super sweet like pineapple can be, and not bland like honeydew (sorry, honeydew).

Even though I got my fill every day on vacation, I can’t stop eating tropical fruits. My fridge is still stocked with pineapple, papaya, and can we just move the Caribbean already?

Crunchy, sweet, and a little spicy thanks to fresh ginger, this slaw is good. And, full disclosure, it’s easy to assemble thanks to bagged slaw mix. I’m using a mix of broccoli and cabbage as well as some shredded carrots. This salad is all about texture and I just love what you get with the bagged stuff. Julienned papaya adds just the right amount of sweetness, too.

I’m using the dressing for the slaw to baste the salmon in this dish. Feel free to use any fish here, too. With Jay starting his fishing season soon, we’re cleaning out the freezer and getting ready to catch more spring salmon so this felt like a good use.

This is a great salad to make on Sunday and take to lunch for a couple days. You’ll want to dress the salad when you’re ready to serve, but prepping everything ahead of time will mean you’ll have an awesome lunch to take to the office for days.

Caribbean Salmon Salad with Papaya Slaw

Serves 4

For the Dressing•

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed

For the Slaw

  • 3 Cups Shredded Cabbage or Broccoli Slaw
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Papaya, thinly sliced
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro, chopped
  • 5 Green Onions, chopped

For the Salmon

  • 1 Lb Salmon
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. While the oven is preheating, add all the ingredients for the dressing to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour about a quarter of the dressing into a bowl and set aside for the salmon. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the salmon on top. Brush the reserved dressing on top and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the interior reaches 160. The time can vary depending on the size of your filet, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Combine the ingredients for the slaw in a large bowl and toss with the rest of the dressing*. Portion out the servings into 4 bowls, top with salmon, and enjoy!

*You’ll want to dress the salad right when you serve it. If making this salad ahead of time, store the dressing in a container until you’re ready to enjoy.